ALIA Information Online 2017 Conference, 13-17 February 2017 Sydney: Data Information Knowledge
[Peer reviewed] This conference paper discusses the transformation of a workplace learning environment.
Abstract: We have all had experiences at work that we wish would just disappear. This paper will reflect on the authors’ journey to transform our workplace learning environment and experiences during 2011-2016 by embracing a collaborative and sustainable approach to bringing together a community of confident, responsive, and reflective learners. We encourage curiosity and lifelong learning, sharing skills and professional interests whilst managing expectations and shared responsibility for career-long and career-wide learning. This paper will form a case study and focus on our practical examples which will explore learning from unlearnings by a novel use of the social media network Snapchat to convene a reflective practitioner meshwork. The authors will reflect on seven themes of unlearnings we screenshot on Snapchat, including: What’s in a Name?, Be Your Own Hero, Winners Never Quit, Don’t Remind Me, Caustic Solutions and Stay in Your Own Lane.
The paper discusses how we achieved a transformation of our learning environment over five years and the key milestones we refer to as unlearnings. These unlearnings were learnt during the course of facilitating a range of workplace learning initiatives, namely, 23 Things; 23 Research Things; Innovations Forums; LEG Briefings; Lync Information Sessions; Library Staff Conversations; and ACU Library StaffShare. Resulting from our approach to an evolving workplace learning environment, colleagues have reported increased confidence in their use and application of emerging technologies for personal and professional purposes, motivation to return to formal tertiary study, benefits of multiple modes of mentoring, skills refresher opportunities, and the unifying affect of and effect on library staff as they up-skill and multi-skill together.
Learning from our unlearnings, we propose a reflective, transformative, bottom-up problem-solving approach to workplace learning in the Library context to bring about a change-ready library and information professional workforce. This paper will provide critical reflection on the broader context of the Library’s contribution to the knowledge economy by expanding on the notions of corporate memory and collective industry memory. These notions of memory, workplace learning and their vulnerability will be explored in the context of the VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) workplace. Wherein there is robust bureaucracy and managerialism, alongside the amorphous and vulnerable memorisation of vital professional knowledge.